Just as Benicio Del Toro was the perfect actor to play the dark, tortured Lawrence Talbot in the screen version of The Wolfman, Jonathan Mayberry was a natural choice as the author to novelize the screenplay. The angst Del Toro brought to the screen is mirrored in the language used by Mayberry in writing Lawrence’s story.
Mayberry’s use of language and ability to paint characters that jump off the page was interesting to see in play. One of the first instances where we see into Lawrence’s soul is when he is in bed with a woman. Though he has a flesh and blood woman at his side, undressed, he seems physically tempted and tortured by the very presence of the moon, as he “[sees] the night pull back its garment to reveal the swollen white breast of the moon” (Mayberry, 20). She calls to the creature that waits to be made physical.
Even at this point, he already wants to be someone else, to be rescued from his existence as Lawrence Talbot. He wished “that he could tear free of his skin and become anyone else…He hated living the pretense of who he had become. He closed his eyes and pretended to sleep. But that, too, was a lie” (Mayberry, 20).
Lawrence has managed to carve out a life where he is viewed as an eccentric actor, but he understands that he is simply acting on and off the stage. The little boy who was locked away in an asylum after the death of his beloved mother never had the chance to figure out who he was outside of the pain he was introduced to at that young age. Lawrence tells Gwen later in the story, “Don’t tell me about the nature of grief. It’s defined me my whole goddamned life!” (Mayberry, 90).
Mayberry further shows that the beast Lawrence is destined to become is the same darkness that has already welled up inside him throughout his life. Regarding man and beast, the Gypsy woman, Maleva, asks “Where does one begin and the other end?”(Mayberry, 128). Whether or not he had been attacked by the beast, Lawrence would have been consumed by the darkness that ran in his veins. At some point, he would have had to face that misery head on.
This angst was the true monster within Lawrence. When he shatters a mirror and sees “…Lawrence the boy, lying in his mother’s arms…the boy in bondage in the asylum…the boy aboard ship to America, discarded…the predator man he had become…the snarling face of a monster” (Mayberry, 176), the reader understands that the culmination of these incidences is the monster that rebels against further bondage and victimization.
In a sense, the bite inflicted on Lawrence helped his misery to manifest in such a way that his demise was the only way he could be at true peace. All the monstrosities that composed the physical monster were destroyed along with that creature.
Mayberry, Jonathan. The Wolfman. New York: Tor, 2010. Print.